May 25, 2022

The Cranioteca is a collection of human skulls kept in the Palethnology Museum in Reggio Emilia. Designed by the founder of the museum, Gaetano Chierici, who exhibited finds from sites he investigated in the Reggio and national territory, it had a didactic scientific function.


Chierici took care of the set-up right from the wardrobes, which were presented in the original form with curtains to allow the most sensitive public not to see the contents. The skulls come from Reggio Emilia and from the territory: San Pellegrino, San Polo, Montecchio Emilia, Sant'Ilario d'Enza, Coenzo, Viano; there are also finds from Pianosa and Remedello. The main function of the collection, in the intentions of the founder, was to provide osteological elements for comparison in the search for anthropological characteristics attributable to the populations of the past. Each skull is accompanied by both annotations written on the cranial case and subsequent observations. The collection is part of Chierici's interests in anthropology, criminal anthropology and the psychiatry school of the San Lazzaro psychiatric hospital in Reggio Emilia, where his friend Enrico Morselli worked.



Paolo Storchi, The Cranioteca (PDF), edited by Georgia Cantoni, The Chierici Museum. Mauro Cremaschi and Roberto Macellari (edited by), Gaetano Chierici, method and science at the origin of prehistoric studies, Reggio Emilia, 2020.